Table of Contents
- What is Freelance Automation?
- Why You Need Freelance Automation
- How To Use Freelance Automation to Your Advantage
- Advantages of Freelance Automation
- How to Automate Every Part of Your Business
- Key Takeaways
Let us begin this article by asking you a question, “As a freelancer, what is your most valuable asset?” If your answer is time, you should pay attention to what this article is all about. With automation, you can have more time to carry out priority tasks like enjoying the freedom that comes with freelancing, working on a start-up idea, and saving yourself from being burned out at the end of the week. Automation will be the next big thing in the coming years and will help all freelancers knock out any wastage of time.
Let’s learn more.
What is Freelance Automation?
In literal terms, automation is the automatic working of a machine or system by electronic software that replaces human interference. When you build an automated project in freelancing, there’s little or no need for manual work. This, in turn, will save you valuable time, give more attention to other tasks, and at the same time please your clients.
Why You Need Freelance Automation
People are turning towards smart technology now, and it’s quite important for freelancers to step up and become a part of this revolution. Smart freelancers know that they shouldn’t do all their work manually, which is why they either outsource or automate using client workflow automation software.
Automating tasks that take away the creative side is an unspoken advantage. You won’t look back once you get the whole idea of automating!
There are several tasks you can automate in 2022, some of which are listed below:
Most freelancers struggle to land themselves new projects, promote their line of business, get matched with new clients, and find stable jobs. Freelancers also have to consider how they will score another project while still working on their current one. This process can be overwhelming; therefore, they must use these automation ideas:
- Set up alerts: Ditch the habit of manually finding jobs for yourself and create custom alerts for when a new client needs you. To make your job hunt easier, set up a custom Google alert with phrases like “Writer required on a freelance basis.”
- Keep the job hunting at bay: If you’re passionate about your job, you should focus more on the work rather than scanning the Internet for new clients. This is where services like Everleads come in handy. Let them do the job hunt while focusing on writing, designing, or other work.
- Organize your profile on freelancer sites: It is crucial to keep an updated profile on websites like Upwork. This will ensure that you have what the client demands. The freelance marketplace is crowded with talent; therefore, you should know how to battle cutthroat competition. Your profile should include all the relevant keywords to catch the client’s eyes. Set up the auto-apply filter for jobs that match your preference and where you fit the criteria.
- Optimize your portfolio site for massive conversions: Your profile says the most about you, so try your best to include all your skills there. Remember, your portfolio should not be a way of showing off. Instead, it should attract the onlookers and convert them into long-term clients.
2. Conduct business administrative work
The ugly truth of freelancing is that along with your passion, you also have to do some administrative work like filling up invoices, following up with clients that haven’t paid, etc. The worst part is you have to do this every month. Well, with perks comes its cons too! The silver lining here is the fact that all this can be automated.
3. Client communication made easier
Negotiating, building a rapport, and answering queries can be time-consuming. Spending hours communicating with clients is a task in itself. Though you can’t ignore clients entirely, you can automate the communication. Savvy freelancers streamline their communication with clients and lean on automation. For instance, you can eliminate communication with newly onboarded clients by using automation software that auto-replies to emails, inquiries, and questions within minutes of receiving them.
4. Backing up files
If you’re one of those freelancers that transfer all client files from the computer to a hard drive, then you’re living under a rock. Times have changed, and Google Drive is the way to go. There’s no need to transfer files to a safer destination anymore when Google Drive performs a backup service. Mac users can also use Time Machine to save their files on the computer automatically. Put the pen drive away because modern problems require modern solutions!
5. Market your skills
To be on top of your marketing game, convincing clients you’re the right pick and nurturing relationships with them can take a toll on your mind. Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? Well, you’re in luck because marketing your skills can be automated with the help of apps like Mailchimp, Reply, and Buffer.
How To Use Freelance Automation to Your Advantage?
1. Automate your outreach
You will likely have several direct queries if you’re a social media geek who posts regularly. This is an excellent thing as it keeps the engagement going. However, responding to all these users will get you distracted. A smart solution would be introducing a chatbot that takes care of the initial conversation with the prospects. You can step in later when you have the time in your hands.
2. Automate client prospecting
While clients form the backbone of a freelancing business and your attention is necessary, some initial discovery tasks can be assigned to automated tools. The hunt for new clients is the lifeblood of a free-flowing freelancing business; therefore, one can use the power of Google’s search engine to find these prospects. Make sure your bases are covered in top social spaces.
3. Automate your social media
With all the chaos happening in your life, from finding clients to keeping them happy, there is also a requirement to post on social media daily. Posts and stories can be automated and scheduled by using a few tools like Buffer and MeetEdgar. Such apps categorize your old posts and repost them for your audience that missed them the first time you posted. This gives your followers the chance to read the content and helps you post more often.
4. Book appointments
We’ve all been through the tiresome process of scheduling meetings and calls. This annoying back and forth can take up so much energy, and before you realize it, half of your day is gone in deciding a time accepted by all. To sync everyone’s schedule can be a headache, especially when they are in different time zones. Let the automation step in and do its work here.
For example, HubSpot Meetings is a scheduling tool that links your Google calendar so that you can share it with your clients. Now, the clients will know your schedule to be able to set up the right time for the meeting.
Advantages of Freelance Automation
Automation is like the second helping hand to grow your business. If you’re unsure whether your business needs automation or not, have a look at the following advantages and then take a call:
Solid client-freelancer relationship
Your daily routine of sending emails, thank you notes, and constant follow-ups can be automated without any negative impact on client relationships. This will also save you ample time. A client support tool, namely, a support ticketing software, may come to the rescue in such a situation. Such software has made its mark in all industries due to its ease of use. It helps the business with many algorithms like keeping the sales statistics updated. You can even reply to customer questions from a control panel.
A bigger piggy bank
With the use of an automation process, your savings are well-kept. Using automation software is relatively cheaper than outsourcing; therefore, the overheads expenses become affordable. You can save up to put more money into training, buying new equipment, and other necessary needs for your business.
Machines don’t make mistakes.
Humans can make mistakes, but machines? No way! When you’re automating your business and leaving the accounting and finance part in the hands of a machine, be rest assured that there will not be a single discrepancy. Functions like billing can cost you a thousand dollars if things go south. A smart freelancer would let the machines deal with this part of the business.
The monotonous work can get boring after a point. Freelancers can assign such tasks that are time suckers to automated software to have more time to concentrate on what’s important.
How to Automate Every Part of Your Business
Human beings are all-rounders. If we’re self-driven and motivated, there’s nothing we can’t do. However, one major bottleneck that blocks our potential is that we can only do one thing at a time. This is definitely a dealbreaker but a much bigger problem for freelancers. Why? It’s because freelancers run their own businesses.
If something needs to be done, they are responsible for finishing what they started. The market is constantly adjusting and is beginning to understand that we’re on a 50% freelance workforce path. This 50% is hungry for software that can easily take up monotonous tasks. There are a number of tools waiting to perform repetitive tasks more efficiently than humans. With the best-suited tools, you can automate the entire cycle of a freelancing project. Here’s the breakdown:
- Promoting yourself
- Discovering opportunities
- Outreaching to those opportunities
- Booking appointments with prospects
- Drafting proposals
- Managing your tasks
- Getting work done
- Tracking your expenses
- Choosing what to automate
Choosing what to automate and what to do by yourself is a tricky one. This can be done by conducting a self-assessment about the things you’re good at and the things that are slowing your productivity. Take three courses of action: elimination, automation, and delegation. For starters, eliminate the tasks that are making you less money or things that don’t excite you. Second, automate tasks that machines can do without human interference. Lastly, delegate anything and everything that can’t be eliminated or automated.
- Smart freelancers know that they shouldn’t do all the work by themselves. That’s why they embrace the evolution of automation.
- TextExpanders, HubSpot, Google Alerts, Everleads are a few of the most used automation tools.
- You can automate client communication, invoicing, and follow-ups.
- Freelancers can also adopt a CRM software to keep a healthy client-freelancer relationship in check.
- Use project collaboration tools to add advantage
Finally, take the time to set up. The information mentioned in this article can be overwhelming but keep in mind that the decision you take today to set up will impact the magnitude of work that will come your way in the future.
The three key components of freelancing: eliminate, automate, and delegate play a crucial role in a fruitful freelancing journey. Take all the time you need to choose what to automate and take into your own hands. That’s enough talking; it’s your turn to put all these words into action thereby saving more time in your freelancing biz. Your business doesn’t have to be entirely run by robots overnight but start with tasks that are time suckers or make you think if you should be working for yourself. The right freelance automation tools will help you start, grow and scale one by one.
How much an average freelancer makes depends on several factors. However, you can earn a good amount working as a freelancer.
Freelancing is much more than a Gen-Z thing. People are willing to become full-time freelancers because it has great potential. It requires much more than your skills to reach the target.
Freelance automation is the art of building systems that operate on their own.
– Social media
– Web research
– Content writing
– Virtual assistant
– Data entry
– Customer service
– Appointment setting